End of March Update

Today was a rest day - an unusual occurrence now that I'm at home and have the trails and roads of the Isle of Wight on my doorstep, but having had over a week of sunshine, and cycling in shorts and jersey, the weather seems to have caught up with itself. So today's rain and tired legs have confined my to just one small gym session.

I don't mind though because the last week of riding has been fantastic - I built the new On One Whippet up about ten days ago and it is one rapid bike. Super-stiff and seriously light for a mountain bike, it flies up the hills and is surprisingly forgiving on the downs. Hardly any issues with it at all, in fact the only real one is that during yesterdays ride I went through a large amount of sheep Sh*t on a downhill from Shorwell Down and then proceed unknowingly to massage a pile of it into my beautiful new white SLR saddle for the rest of the ride, staining it rather yellow on one side - I guess sh*t happens! (actually most of it came off with a bit of Cif this morning).

On the road biking front, I've done a few long rides since I've been back, as well as quite a few sets of hill climbs. I broke my round the island record by 15mins, getting it down to 2:55hrs - which is averaging just under 20mph for the 56mile route that I take.
For hill climbs I have been going through to Ventnor, then climbing from the esplanade up to the bottom of the golf club road. It's about a 5 min climb and gets the lungs going when you repeat it 5 or 6 times! It's always a fantastic view from the top though, so gives you something to work for, and it gives the ladies sat having their lunches down on the esplanade something to watch as I repeatedly fly by, I can just imagine them saying "Is that what they do for 'kicks' these days? - looks too much like hard work to me", as I start my sixth climb, sweat dripping from my nose.

Other record times that I've put in were on my Blackgang hill climb - dropped 20seconds off that compared to this time last year; worked out the key is to keep my cadence up around 95rpm the whole way - seems really high, but I guess it's the most efficient.
Also did a 10 Mile TT on Saturday with the Vectis RC, put in a time 25mins flat, which is OK, but I should be going far faster than that - I blame it on the lack of aerobars and doing it at the end of a long week training, but it gives me something to improve on next time I guess.

Having trouble sorting out my Island Games position at the moment, have become far too used to people replying to their emails almost instantaneously at work and uni, and that really doesn't seem to be the case with the guys organising the road bike and mountain bike teams, in fact, they haven't replied at all! But I'll keep persevering, and going along to the Vectis club rides to show my face, was the 3rd fastest at the TT on Saturday, and I'm easily the quickest in the Mtb club (don't mean to brag), so hopefully it will sort itself out in the end.

Think that is all there is to report for now; apart from a few more TTs, the first Mtb race is over at Goodwood (Chichester) in mid April - that will be the real test to see if the training is paying off. For now it's just more miles, hills and hopefully sun - Spring looks like it might finally be here!

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